Football: Woodbury grad Idowu invited to try out for Seattle Seahawks
Ever since his cousin Louis Ayeni signed to play Division I football for Northwestern University, Woodbury's Ayo Idowu has dreamed of playing in the National Football League.
Next week, he'll get his chance.
Idowu, who played defensive line for the University of St. Thomas last season, has been invited to try out for the Seattle Seahawks.
"This is a huge dream of mine," Idowu said. "It's always what I've wanted to do. When Tim Brewster didn't give me a scholarship to Minnesota, I didn't think it was going to happen. For a Division III guy, chances like this don't come very often. When I got the call, I promised myself I was going to make it count."
Idowu was one of the Tommies' best defenders last year. Though he missed four games, he had 64 tackles, 5 sacks and two forced fumbles. St. Thomas went 13-1, losing to Mount Union 28-10 in the NCAA Division III national championship game. Following the season, Idowu was named to the All-American second team by d3football.com.
At 6-foot-2 inches and 255 pounds, the 2009 Woodbury High School graduate opened eyes at the University of Minnesota's pro day this summer. There scouts had him clocked between 4.7 and 4.8 in the 40-yard dash. Though he played defensive tackle and defensive end in college, Idowu's best fit in the NFL may come as an outside linebacker. However, Idowu said he'd play any position.
"I'll do whatever they want me to do," Idowu said. "If they tell me to play quarterback I'll do it."
Idowu, who will graduate from St. Thomas this month, said his agent informed him of the tryout on Wednesday. Last year, the Seahawks finished 11-5, losing to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional playoff. Every NFL team can sign up to 15 undrafted free agents each year.
"From what I understand there's seven or eight spots left, but I'm not going to think about that," Idowu said. "I just want to be the best guy there. I've always been taught that if you're the best you don't have to worry about getting cut or losing your job."
At Woodbury, Idowu helped lead the Royals to the section finals and earned All-Conference honors as a senior. He also played lacrosse and ran sprints for the track team. In addition to being a standout athlete, Idowu was an honor student and class president at Woodbury.
A Finance major at St. Thomas, Idowu said he has trained with Division I and NFL players each summer since his freshman year. He said it helped build his confidence, despite being a Div. III player.
"I kept up with them and I felt like (the NFL) was something I could do," Idowu said. "God blessed me with an amazing senior season. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I worked hard and feel like God put this in place for me and gave me this opportunity. I'm just going to roll with it."